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Old 24-01-2016, 09:45   #211
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by Chuck Hawley View Post
My only point, and unlike you I managed to make it without sarcasm, was that we have to be careful when we use statistics that are misleading. My original post was to point out that 350 sailors per year don't drown offshore. That's it.

If people start to repeat incorrect statistics, they'll start worrying about the obscure issues that are not actually killing many sailors, instead of the real issues that kill proportionately more. Lots of boaters are worried about propane fuel explosions, largely because they are dramatic and no one want to get blow up. They are also exceedingly rare, and in many years, no one dies due to propane use on boats in the U.S.

About 25 sailors die each year in the U.S. Most drown. Life jackets are a relatively cheap solution. That's all I was getting at.

If you talk to US life raft manufacturers, and I have, you'll discover that there are very few life rafts that are deployed in a given year. No one knows how many are saved by having a life raft on board, but it's probably fewer than 20, and perhaps less than 10. Life rafts are expensive, have periodic maintenance, and last for about 15 years. That doesn't mean you shouldn't have one, but it does fall into the "expensive based on the odds" category. Compare that to the cost-effectiveness of a life jacket or VHF radio or PLB.

Chuck Hawley
Chuck, I never said that there were 350+ drownings offshore. I believe you are confusing the term "offshore to mean deep blue, 20 plus miles from the shoreline. If you look up offshore in the dictionary, you will see the first definition is "from the shore out.. If you look at my post, you will see that I referenced "COASTAL". The number is actually over 400 and my point was that it happens. My facts are straight.
Sorry for the sarcasm but I just don't understand why you are so determined to prove me wrong when I simply used a reference to show that accidents with drownings do happen (in fairly large numbers) and can happen anytime you go offshore (from the shore out). Apples and oranges my friend. Time to move on.
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Old 24-01-2016, 10:37   #212
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Over the years I have been involved in my share of rescues, both close to shore and off shore, from Attu to Bermuda, from the Gulf to the Bering Sea. I can only give you my opinion. I would forget the Life raft, and would go for a RIB that would hold as many as you have sleeping accommodations for. Why you ask, most of the time you don't have time to get it inflated and over the side without punching a hole in it, the one case I remember clearly, in Alaska where the crew did get into the life raft the winds were so strong the raft was blown off the foredeck, parting the painter. tossing everyone out as it tumbled down wind. We were finding bodies down wind for 6 months as the washed up on various beaches. We found the boat a day after storm, high and dry, with 2-3 inches of ice on her on another beach. with this in mind the crew might well have survived if the had stayed with their boat... Must say you are ALL doing well thinking about what you might need in a situation that requires you to leave your boat,,, Keep thinking ....
Just wondering, why would they get into the liferaft while it's sitting on the foredeck?
Liferafts should be inflated in the water, not on deck, right??
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Old 24-01-2016, 11:11   #213
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Good question, Boone... You would have to ask the question of that crew, of the fishing boat, that did it. All we could do was try to put the evidence together, based on where we found the painter for the raft and where the bodies were found... Don't recall if the raft it self was ever found. It was the opinion of the investigators, that the crew of the fishing boat, should have stayed on the fishing boat. It was an easy jump from the beach to the fishing boat when we found her, on the rocks.
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Old 24-01-2016, 13:53   #214
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

For the small coastal hops we take, I'm more than happy having the dinghy. Crossing an ocean would have me reevaluate that.
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Old 24-01-2016, 16:52   #215
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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For the small coastal hops we take, I'm more than happy having the dinghy. Crossing an ocean would have me reevaluate that.
To listen to some you would need a life raft in the dinghy too.
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Old 24-01-2016, 17:40   #216
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Ahoy Boone, You ask why inflat the raft on the foredeck, the crew probably felt that was the best place to inflate the raft and keep together, and the best place to inflate the raft. You know as well as I do how cluttered the aft deck can get. In the situation they were in they probably thought that was the best place... I won't second guess them after the fact...
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Old 24-01-2016, 18:57   #217
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Originally Posted by Olde Chief View Post
Over the years I have been involved in my share of rescues, both close to shore and off shore, from Attu to Bermuda, from the Gulf to the Bering Sea. I can only give you my opinion. I would forget the Life raft, and would go for a RIB that would hold as many as you have sleeping accommodations for. Why you ask, most of the time you don't have time to get it inflated and over the side without punching a hole in it, the one case I remember clearly, in Alaska where the crew did get into the life raft the winds were so strong the raft was blown off the foredeck, parting the painter. tossing everyone out as it tumbled down wind. We were finding bodies down wind for 6 months as the washed up on various beaches. We found the boat a day after storm, high and dry, with 2-3 inches of ice on her on another beach. with this in mind the crew might well have survived if the had stayed with their boat... Must say you are ALL doing well thinking about what you might need in a situation that requires you to leave your boat,,, Keep thinking ....
Whilst i wont question the rescues you have been in, ill certainly point out that 'your opinion' in recommnding a rib over a properly functioning, properly serviced and appropriately sized life raft should be Ignorred. And your one Alaskan illustration means nothing in regards to whether a rib is preferential over a rib.

In many many cases, perhaps most, people should stay with the main vessel. Life rafts are a last resort. And if the last resort is necessary, then especially in the Bering Sea and those around Alaska, a life raft as stipulated, privides far safer, warmer and protected environment than a rib.
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Old 24-01-2016, 19:46   #218
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

Right you are Rustic Charm, It is my opinion, but it is ultimately up to the people that are in trouble as to what they decide to do with what have to work with to stay alive. I for on would not want to be the only person in a 20 man raft or to one of 20 trying to squeeze on or into to 10 man raft. Also if I was close enough to shore I would put my boat on the beach if conditions were right. There are many things to be considered in any survival situations, so if you survive you did everything Right and if you do not Survive who am I to say what you did was wrong. All I am saying is that an RIB material & construction is a lot tougher than any raft is constructed and you can always add a cover to protect the survivors from the elements, and you also can get trapped in an enclosed raft that is suppose to protect you from the elements... Could say more but won't, Take your pick, and good luck to you... I would not wanted to be in either one in the sea and conditions that cost the crew their lives, I still think I would have stayed with the boat, knowing what I know now.
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Old 24-01-2016, 19:53   #219
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Right you are Rustic Charm, It is my opinion, but it is ultimately up to the people that are in trouble as to what they decide to do with what have to work with to stay alive. I for on would not want to be the only person in a 20 man raft or to one of 20 trying to squeeze on or into to 10 man raft. Also if I was close enough to shore I would put my boat on the beach if conditions were right. There are many things to be considered in any survival situations, so if you survive you did everything Right and if you do not Survive who am I to say what you did was wrong. All I am saying is that an RIB material & construction is a lot tougher than any raft is constructed and you can always add a cover to protect the survivors from the elements, and you also can get trapped in an enclosed raft that is suppose to protect you from the elements... Could say more but won't, Take your pick, and good luck to you... I would not wanted to be in either one in the sea and conditions that cost the crew their lives, I still think I would have stayed with the boat, knowing what I know now.
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Old 26-01-2016, 08:29   #220
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Old 28-01-2016, 09:05   #221
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Ahoy Boone, You ask why inflat the raft on the foredeck, the crew probably felt that was the best place to inflate the raft and keep together, and the best place to inflate the raft. You know as well as I do how cluttered the aft deck can get. In the situation they were in they probably thought that was the best place... I won't second guess them after the fact...
I'm not sure if I'm reading you right. Are you saying these guys inflated the life raft and got into it while still on the deck of the vessel?
I can't think of any situation where a life raft should be inflated on deck, especially with any kind of wind. Not only would it nearly guarantee a puncture but it would also make it nearly impossible to launch in a wind.

Just curious, who did you do your rescues with?
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Old 28-01-2016, 09:10   #222
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Re: Importance of Life-raft when coastal cruising?

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Whilst i wont question the rescues you have been in, ill certainly point out that 'your opinion' in recommnding a rib over a properly functioning, properly serviced and appropriately sized life raft should be Ignorred. And your one Alaskan illustration means nothing in regards to whether a rib is preferential over a rib.

In many many cases, perhaps most, people should stay with the main vessel. Life rafts are a last resort. And if the last resort is necessary, then especially in the Bering Sea and those around Alaska, a life raft as stipulated, privides far safer, warmer and protected environment than a rib.
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